Hi My son is 8 years old and is classed as 2E (Dyslexia). I went and had a meeting with my sons teacher on Friday to see how things are going at school as Mr 8 has been coming home frustrated and angry, not wanting to do his homework and looses the plot over the littlest of things.
The teacher informed me that he is still struggling with the sounds of letters and sound blends, which she hasn't not mentioned to me before via, the countless times I see her in the morning, parent teacher interviews, and RLBT meetings. I thought this issue was behind us last year. She also believes that he has an "underlying frustration due to readings, and that I should tell him to grow up and take responsibility for his own reading." Her exact words !
I asked about extension as you report started that Mr 8 is intellectually capable of advanced work rather than age appropriated work in most subject and with out the challenge and interest of such work he would fail to reach his true potential. She told me that she had not found any area to extend Mr 8 and that could happen in year 5 & 6 (he's year 3). I also talked about bringing in technology next year to elevate some of the frustrations as she will be our teacher again next year, and she shoot that down too and this also could be something to look at in year 5 &6.
What I am looking for is how do I advocate for my son, where do I turn to for help? I got my sons report over a year ago so I am not sure if the ED psychologist will go over it with me ( which she never did after us getting the report) Maybe I am just over reacting but any advice will be great.
Maybe contact the Min of Ed - I believe they have someone for the area of giftedness.
Did you suggest that maybe the teacher should grow up, take responsibility for the teaching of her students and in doing so serve as a positive role model?
It makes me very cross to see such comments from teachers!
Have you considered ODS? The ED psych should be happy to go over the report with you - I would definitely follow that up, it can help. We all have marked areas of weakness here - its not an issue of "irresponsibility" its an issue of the amount of mental effort required to read - when your brain doesnt work that way its incredibly tiring to try and make it do so.
I refuse to do battle with my grandson over homework - been there done that with his mum and it didnt turn out well - will not be making that mistake again. That aside I actually dont believe it is a healthy habit - to condition people to bringing their work home with them at the expense of home and family life.
Have you approached the teachers superiors? I wasnt happy with my grandsons progress at the beginning of the year and after trying to sort it with the teacher after a while I went to the DP who is head of the junior school ..... it took a little while but once she understood it wasnt just a passing concern she provided extra support herself so it was definitely worthwhile.
I'm also the mum of a 2e boy. I had a year like this with the teacher and the school last year. A chilled out teacher this year, and Mr 7 feeling more confident has made us all happier. Our OT has been a great outside support. Also their is no gifted program at school and i don't really want to fight for extension as they didn't even want us to attend ods - that "he didn't need extension he just needed to work on his behaviour" , so i stopped asking really and just kind of said what we would be doing - in the nicest possible way. Our teacher this year has been really flexible about letting us do our own thing. Mr 7 comes out for one day school, OT and we took him out for the fonterra rd show at the local intermediate school with his best friend from class - it was great and at a really high level, and because it's listening, visual and experiments perfect for dyslexic kids. $7 each and you can just book it yourself online. Just google fonterra rd show. Kind of DIY extension. Do what you know is right. It's your kid. He will thank you later for believing in him. Good luck.
Hi, I went to a very interesting seminar organised by our school a couple of weeks ago, about dyslexia. It was by a man who is dyslexic, and whose father and son are also dyslexic. After a horrendous time at school, he went on to obtain three degrees and worked as an educational pyschologist for 35 years. He's now on a mission to educate parents and teachers about dyslexia. He says everybody else who has written about dyslexia is an academic, who has no personal knowledge of what its like, they can only make assumptions based on what they see, whereas he's had 60 odd years living with dyslexia.
His name is Laugton King.
He has a website, and has written three books, details on the webiste. I found them at our library too. I would really recommend checking him out.
He says that teachers often try and ''blame'' the child and make them fit into a very literacy based school system - when in reality its just that the kids think differently, and the teachers should be working out a different way of teaching, to suit the child.
He says that most people are ''petrols'' (who think in words) and that dyslexics are ''diesels'' (who think in pictures). The education system suits petrols, and chucking more petrol down a diesel engine just doesn't work.
My husband is a diesel (and probably one of my sons too), and he's really smart, but writing and spelling are definately not his strong suit! But... if you ever needed anything fixed or if there was ever an emergency, he's definately the kind of guy you need around! Diesels have lots and lots of really great skills, and often lots of fun to be around.
I actually believe that the "symptoms" of what we currently call "Dyslexia" are actually not innate tendencies but rather are caused by our failure to recognise the visual spatial and appropriately adapt to their needs.
My grandson was exceptionally well organised until he hit formal education and was introduced to step by step progressive (sequential) teaching ..... being forced to use his brain that way day in day out has resulted in him becoming disorganised at home.
The same happens to me ..... when I am not studying or have very little study to do life just "works" for me and challenges many peoples perception of what it means to be Visual Spatial ...... but being forced to try and use my brain like "normal" people .... well hey presto I become a postergirl for the stereotype - and it really grates on me that in this day and age we are still in a position of having to compromise our neurological integrity for the sake of "education" (if one can even call it that).
The "deficit model" is very poorly thought "through" (I dont think through my thoughts because thats not how visual thinking works). Im pretty sure that Tom West is also Visual Spatial (or dyslexic for those who prefer that term)
I too have a 2E boy, he is Year 3, his strengths lie in verbal reasoning - he is also a confident speaker. Our main focus is on what he can do really well. However kids also need to get through the school "system". I took my Assessment Report into the SENCO and arranged an appointment time a week later. I think the key is to get on the schools side - tell them what they want to hear; ie what you are doing at home to assist them. The teacher modified our home work - we learn to spell word families rather than a spelling list. We also type our sentences using a computer program called Word Q.
The other main point would be we do not spend a huge amount of time on structured homework - rather, as our son enjoys time on the computer he has 10 mins on mathletics and 10 mins on Sunshine online a reading program, if he has topic work, I tend to scribe for him.
Possibly you could look at a meeting with teacher, SENCO and a support person or husband for you. I would let them know about the behaviors at home as a result of an exhausting day at school - and the fact that you are wanting to keep learning a positive experience for your boy so things don't fall apart later.
With regards to you needing to go through your report with your Ed Psy - just ask, if not highlight what you think as the relevant points (your SENCO should be able to understand it.
At least you then have a "file" at school and can apply for funding later should you require it for a reader/writer or laptop etc.